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Pages From the Past

Originally Published in MotorHome Magazine

Retracing MotorHome’s March issues over the years

You may already know that March is National Reading Awareness month in the United States, but did you know that it’s also National Nutrition Month, National Celery Month and National Kidney Month, among others? It’s also the month that many of us who live in MotorHome 50 Years 1968 - 2018 logo colder climates uncover our RVs and prepare for the spring travel season. And, in the case of MotorHome Life, the spring issue of 1969 saw publisher Art Rouse declare the magazine would begin publishing four times each year.

The 1970s would prove to be a rather successful decade for the magazine and RVing in general. In March 1972, the Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution prohibiting discrimination on the basis of gender was passed by the senate. The March ’75 issue of MotorHome Life & Camper Coachmen (as it was called then) featured a story on the Good Sam International Travel Club, detailing RV Caraventures to the Swiss Alps, the British Isles and Europe. That same issue also included “What’s Ahead for RVs,” a gathering of motorhome owners and consumer advocates. Discussions included aesthetics, aerodynamics and the trend toward rounded corners, with one attendee noting, “I’ve wondered for years why they made RVs so square; to me, they look like cigar boxes going down the street.” Some things never change.

The March ’79 issue suggested readers “Plunge into an adventure spree,” with a beautiful hot air balloon scene on the cover. That same month, the Three Mile Island nuclear plant incident near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, called the practice of nuclear power into question, and the Philips company publicly demonstrated the use of a compact disc (CD) for the first time.

The 1980s saw MotorHome Life take on a number of social issues, and March 1981 featured President Ronald Reagan chiming in on RV issues, from highways to gun control to government regulation. “I have always believed that the government is here to protect us from each other,” said President Reagan. The March ’84 issue questioned the usage of oil and the possibility of a national shortage, featuring a Q and A with Chevron President Kenneth T. Derr.

The March ’95 issue included a test on the Serro Scotty Prospector, a coach with 4WD, an option that can be found today on this month’s test vehicle Dynamax Isata 5 30FW.
The turn of the century brought technology to the forefront; the March 2000 issue included a review of PocketMail and Sharp’s TM-20 email device. Who knew that email would become such an important part of everyday life to people in general, let alone to RVers?
March 2004 featured a review of the Sprinter Westfalia Class B, built atop the (then) Dodge Sprinter chassis that is so common today (though it now bears the Mercedes-Benz marque).

In keeping with its lean toward the latest in RV technology, MotorHome touted the brand-new Truma AquaGo instant-hot-water heater in the March 2015 issue. “Having endless hot water was heavenly,” noted author/VP/Group Publisher Bob Livingston. This technology has become quite popular in today’s motorhomes, which is yet another feather in the cap of MotorHome magazine’s forward-thinking mentality.


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